Cognac’s incredible success on export

There is a wine region in France that is really doing well at the moment. And that is Cognac. Sales increased in 2018 for the fifth consecutive year. 205 million bottles of cognac were exported. This equates to 98% of the entire production. The United States buys 94 million bottles annually and is the largest export market. Singapore is in second place and China is third. Cognac accounts for almost a quarter of the total value of French wine and spirits exports. Hennessy, owned by the luxury group LVMH, accounts for 46% of all cognac (in other words, around 10% of the value of all wine and sprits export).

There is 78,000 hectares of vines in Charente, 120 km north of Bordeaux. This makes Cognac France’s largest white wine region. The main grape is ugni blanc but colombard, folle blanche plus a few more little-known grapes, such as montils and folignan. These are grapes that give low sugar levels but high acidity, which is what you want when you make spirits.

But if you want to drink French digestif at Christmas, choose an Armagnac instead. Armagnac is smaller in every aspect (except taste) and they are struggling on the market at the moment. Their marketing budget is not anything close to the big cognac houses’.

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A snifter glass with brandy

A snifter glass with brandy, copyright BKWine Photography


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